The Coutts Diversity Essay Prize 2022 encouraged pupils to answer the question ‘Why is diversity important?’, and saw 52 students participate across Thames Valley Partnership Schools. 

‘To be, rather than to seem’ is the motto of Coutts Bank, which as one of six hundred globally accredited B Corporations and one of the five founding signatories for the UN’s Principles of Banking, has been leading the change on diversity in banking.

After anonymisation, the essays were judged by Hailz-Emily Osborne, Director of Inclusion Education at Eton and Andrew Isama, Inclusion Education Officer at Eton. A shortlist of 11 outstanding essays were sent to Coutts for adjudication by Camilla Stowell, Kristina Spasic, Mohammed Syed, Dylan Williams and James Clarry. 

The final results were:

1st Prize: Sophie B, St Mary’s, Ascot                                                 

£100 book token plus £100 to Caritas Ukraine

1 week work experience at Coutts. 

2nd Prize: Luca S, Eton College                         

£75 book token plus £75 to Onside

3rd Prize: Leiden B , Eton College                              

£50 book token plus £50 to Women’s Aid

As a reward for their exceptional work, the three winners toured the Coutts archives last month, before attending the prize-giving luncheon with Lord Waldegrave of North Hill. They were joined by finalists Alishba S from Eden Girls’ School, Jamal K and Jonathan S from Holyport College, who had taken part in the Coutts Diversity Conversations in October 2020 and 2021.

After the archives tour at Coutts Headquarters in London, the finalists enjoyed lunch and conversation on the importance of diversity in the workplace in the sunshine on the eco-sustainable rooftop garden, home to 80,000 honeybees.

Finalist Luca S said he really enjoyed learning about ‘the bank’s principles and their appetite to evolve, with the COO explaining he views the well-established bank as a “350 year old start up”!’

Congratulations to all finalists: Bahaa K, Eden Girls’ School; Adna A, Slough and Eton Business College; Isabella F, Holyport; and Mokareoluwa Daniel A, Lyndon C, Nilesh J, and Patkar A from Eton.